Drama in The Dome: Twins Take Home Central Crown In Extras
After 162 games, it was only fitting that the 163rd needed extra innings to decide the AL Central champion.
In a game full of bloopers, bombs, diving plays, headfirst slides and power strikeouts, it was a solid RBI single by Alexi Casilla that gave the Twins a 6-5 win and a date with October baseball.
What was supposed to be a swansong for the Metrodome turned into a classic back and forth contest where you never knew which team was going to win until the final pitch.
The game itself was almost a picture perfect mirror image of the entire season itself, where the Tigers raced out to an early lead, only to blow it, re-tie the game and then fall in the final moments.
The Tigers took a quick 3-0 lead in the third on the strength of an Ordonez RBI single followed up by a Miguel Cabrera home run. It looked like the Tigers would just run away with the game.
The Twins scored the next four runs, capped off by a solo shot by Orlando Cabrera to make it 4-3.
Tied up at five with runs in the top and bottom of the tenth, it was sent into the 12th awaiting a winner by Casilla.
For Detroit, it was a heart-breaking game of epic proportions, blowing a six game over the final month and becoming the first team in MLB history to blow a three-game lead with four to play down the stretch to force a one-game playoff. For a depressed city with economic hardship, this was just one more heartache for a passionate fanbase.
Yet, for Minnesota, it was the highest of highs, a fairy tale ride that has yet to strike midnight. After being left for dead, the Twins now travel overnight to the Bronx to take on the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees.
The Twins might not be able to beat the Yankees in the ALDS, nor even win a single game.
But for one night, the magic of October baseball was back, restoring the faith in millions of Minnesotans and fans across the country who believe that anything can happen on the diamond.
And for the Metrodome, the clock has yet to strike midnight on it as well, offering one last chance at glory as it enters its final at-bats.
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